Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts

Monday, August 12, 2013

Crazy for Cupcakes!


Crazy For Cupcakes
By: Victoria, TSS It Girl
   
In my free time, outside of being a student, Greek member, and It Girl Intern, I take time to update my blog, The Guide to Whimsy, where I love to share some of my favorite homemade and quirky recipes. I love experimenting with flavors and how they complement each other in really odd, but scrumptious ways! In general, I just love being in the kitchen, but am known by my hometown, friends, family, and sorority sisters for the cupcakes I bake! From Chai Tea Latte, Fresh Strawberry, Crazy Carrot Cake, Almond Roca, Cheesecake Cupcake, Red Velvet, Raspberry Chocolate, and tons of others, I’ve catered for small parties, family gatherings, birthdays, graduations and even bridal showers.
Here’s one of my recent favorite cupcakes, The Triple C (Chocolate-Coconut Cupcake). This cupcake is the ultimate sweet, salty, slightly tangy, creamy, crunchy, and soft cupcake! For those of you not keen on the idea of coconut, I’ve included ways to void the coconut and switch things up to make another cupcake that’s simpler but still delicious! I love to bake in a really roundabout and experimental way, and rarely use measurements outside my base recipe. So widen your horizons, because the key to success for these cupcakes is a little creativity and having fun putting it all together!
Here’s what you’ll need!

TGTW's Chocolate-Coconut Cupcake (Triple C):
1 box of Pillsbury Traditional Chocolate (If you don’t have time to bake from scratch) OR:


Chocolate Base Recipe:
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream

Extras:
Shredded Coconut
Almond Extract
Coconut Extract
Ground Cinnamon
Sea Salt
Olive Oil
Sugar Crystals
Neufchatel Cheese (a low fat kind of cream cheese)
Powdered Sugar
Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder

  • Okay, so go ahead and put together the pre-boxed cake batter. For this recipe, however, since I use Olive Oil in another part of the recipe, also use it in the cake mix in replace of Canola Oil. It won't really alter the taste, if anything, I've noticed it makes it the cake more rich and gives better texture. 
  • The next thing you're going to do is put roughly 3/4 teaspoons of coconut extract in the batter. Also add another half a tablespoon of almond extract in the batter and mix.
  • Now you're going to add your shredded coconut. However much you add is up to how much you or your party likes coconut; my input is to not put any more than a cup and a half.
  • The next two steps are to add the cinnamon and sea salt. I love sweet and salty mixes in dessert. It gives it more layers and intricacies, and makes it well rounded. For this, you're going to lightly sprinkle ground cinnamon over the top to how much you prefer, and make sure when you grind the sea salt that you give the top of the cake mix a light even coverage. Mix batter again.
  • Put batter into cupcake tins, sprinkle each with sugar crystals, and place in the oven for about 22 minutes. This would also make a really great cake if you'd rather choose to do it that way.
  • For the topping, take about a cup and a half of the shredded coconut you have on hand, and toss with about 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil. Spread this onto a cookie sheet (I usually use a silicone pad on mine, but it's not necessary). Grind Sea Salt over the coconut, and add the sugar crystals on top as well. With 10 minutes left on the cupcakes, put them in the oven for the remaining time. You will need to stir up the coconut at 5 minutes.
  • For the frosting, I never use a recipe. This will turn out more of like a royal icing for the cupcake. The texture should be a little thicker than a usual icing. Take two boxes of the Neufchatel and whip in your mixer, add a cup of powdered sugar at a time until you get the texture you want. If you've added too much powdered sugar, add a half a teaspoon of cold water to water it down (be careful with water, even the smallest bit will drastically change the texture!!) Add a quarter teaspoon of coconut extract, and a tablespoon of Dark Cocoa Powder to the frosting and mix. Store in fridge.

You're all done! When the cupcakes come out, let them cool down to room temperature before icing with a flat spatula and covering in the salted toasted coconut. This is a real crowd-pleaser that hits every spot on the flavor spectrum!


Bon App├ętit!


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Superbowl Snacks: Puppy Chow


As we mentioned in Superbowl Snacks: Rolo Pretzel Delights, we are really excited for the Superbowl! The Superbowl would not be fit without some snacks to munch on, so here is the recipe for the last snack we plan on taking to our Superbowl parties: Puppy Chow.

Puppy Chow
Source: Adapted by Chex Mix
Ingredients
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
9 cups original/plain ChexMix square cereal
2 cups powdered sugar


Pour the nine (9) cups of original/plain Chex Mix square cereal into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter/margarine in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Remove the bowl from the microwave as soon as the chocolate chips have melted. Add and stir in the vanilla extract.

Next, pour the melted chocolate mixture into the large bowl of Chex Mix square cereal, making sure to coat the cereal mix with chocolate (using a spatula to disperse the chocolate is best).

Lastly, pour the powdered sugar into a 2-gallon ziplock bag and proceed to spoon in the chocolate-covered Chex Mix cereal. Seal the ziplock bag and shake it to thoroughly coat the cereal mixture with powdered sugar.


{ENJOY!}

Superbowl Snacks: Rolo Pretzel Delights


We are so excited for the Superbowl and have been gearing up to root for our favorite team (*cough*49ers*cough*). In preparation for the BIG game, we've decided to put together a couple fun snacks to munch on [all involving chocolate of course..lol]. These snacks are ridiculously easy to make and are perfect to bring to any Superbowl house party: Rolo Pretzel Delights & Puppy Chow! First up, Rolo Pretzel Delights!

Rolo Pretzel Delights
Source: Adapted from Rolos
Ingredients

1 bag of pretzels
1 bag of Rolos
1 bag of glazed pecans

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, lay about 16 pretzels onto a pan with aluminum foil (or parchment paper). Top each pretzel with Rolos. Place the Rolo-covered pretzels into the oven, baking for 3-5 minutes or until the chocolates have fully melted. Take the pretzels out of the oven and quickly top it with a glazed pecan. 

{As easy as 1, 2, 3!}

Who will you be rooting for while you're munching?
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